Monthly Archives: June 2015

New Release: Brick by Brick by Cate Ashwood & L.J. LaBarthe #MM # Romance @Dreamspinners @cateashwood @brbsiberia

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Title: Brick by Brick
Author Name & Publisher: June 29, 2015 (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 29, 2015 – 62,000 Words

Synopsis

They say that time heals all wounds, but losing Parley, his one true love, left Zach with a hole in his heart that no one else can fill. After forty-eight blissful hours alone together as teens in an abandoned house, Parley disappeared. Parley is what he is, and the pray-away-the-gay camp his parents ship him to won’t change that. However, finding the balance between accepting his true nature and not losing his family means tough sacrifices.

Sixteen years later, Zach is thunderstruck when Parley stands on the front doorstep of his house—the house that had been their refuge, which Zach restored. But Parley isn’t alone, and Zach wonders if he’s found Parley only to lose him a second time. If they can overcome the terrors of the past and the situation of the present, maybe they can build a new relationship just as Zach rebuilt the house—brick by brick.

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Excerpt

ZACH FELT as if he was floating. He’d been planning this escape for weeks, but now that it was actually happening, it didn’t seem real. He chanced a quick look at Parley as they merged onto the highway. What could possibly be better than running away with his best friend?

He’d had his doubts that Parley would actually come with him. After being turned down the first time, Zach had prepared himself for disappointment, but now they were leaving together and Zach couldn’t have been happier.

“Where should we go?” Zach asked. He had some vague ideas in mind, but he wanted his friend’s input more than anything.

“I don’t know. Somewhere we can’t be found?” Zach was right on board with that.

“That’s a good idea. We’ll go for a bit on this highway, then we’ll exit and take some back roads, maybe head toward the interior.”

Parley dropped his head back against the seat. “Perfect.” After a time, he said, “I still can’t believe we’re doing this.”

“I still can’t believe you came with me,” Zach countered.

“I can’t either. I must be insane.”

“Or brilliant. It’s usually a fine line,” Zach teased.

“My parents are going to have an absolute meltdown once they’ve found out what I’ve done. They’re going to be so upset.”

Parley’s voice was quiet, barely above a whisper. Zach had seen him like this once before when he’d thought he’d lost his weird CTR ring with the spinner chain in the band.

“It’ll all be okay.” Zach tried to soothe him, to bring him back to the present, and rested a gentle hand on Parley’s knee. “Everyone flies from the nest sooner or later. We just did it in an unconventional way. I really do think this is what’s best, though, for both of us.”

Zach’s reassurance seemed to work. Parley blinked slowly a few times and then a somewhat disheartened smile crept onto his face. “I know, but my family is just… different.”

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4.5 Stars for Murder and Mayhem (Murder and Mayhem #1) by Rhys Ford #MM #Mystery @Dreamspinners @Rhys_Ford

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Title: Murder and Mayhem (Murder and Mayhem #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Rhys Ford (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 5, 2015 – 236 pgs

Synopsis

Dead women tell no tales.

Former cat burglar Rook Stevens stole many a priceless thing in the past, but he’s never been accused of taking a life—until now. It was one thing to find a former associate inside Potter’s Field, his pop culture memorabilia shop, but quite another to stumble across her dead body.

Detective Dante Montoya thought he’d never see Rook Stevens again—not after his former partner’d falsified evidence to entrap the jewelry thief and Stevens walked off scot-free. So when he tackled a fleeing murder suspect, Dante was shocked to discover the blood-covered man was none other than the thief he’d fought to put in prison and who still made his blood sing.

Rook is determined to shake loose the murder charge against him, even if it means putting distance between him and the rugged Cuban-Mexican detective who brought him down. If one dead con artist wasn’t bad enough, others soon follow, and as the bodies pile up around Rook’s feet, he’s forced to reach out to the last man he’d expect to believe in his innocence—and the only man who’s ever gotten under Rook’s skin.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

I was given this in return for an honest review by Inked Rainbow Reads.
Murder and Mayhem was a very faced paced murder mystery.  The plot was was very intense which kept you interested in the story.

I loved how Rook and Dante started off with a strained relationship, but sparks still flew off the page with their feelings. They had this relationship where Dante was always trying to find reasons to arrest Rook.

My favorite comment from Rook was:
“First time you fuck me, there’d better be warm sheets and a soft pillow under my ass. Forewarned, Montoya. Forewarned”

This was a fantastic book. I look forward to reading more of this series as it comes out. Love between a cop and a criminal always makes for an exciting story.

Sherry

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4.5 and 4 Stars for Jaded (Precious Gems #3) by E.M. Lynley #MM #Suspense @Dreamspinners @emlynley

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Title: Jaded (Precious Gems #3)
Author Name & Publisher: E.M. Lynley (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: November 22, 2013 – 250 pgs

Synopsis

Gay-romance writer Trent Copeland finds his life in a rut while his boyfriend, Special Agent Reed Acton, is away on an undercover mission. After attending a special course at FBI headquarters in Quantico, Trent’s eager for another challenge. He jumps at the opportunity for a trip to Japan to oversee appraisals of two art collections to be sold at the gallery he co-owns. But the trip isn’t all cherry blossoms and Hello Kitty. When one of the collectors he meets—rumored to be the head of a Yakuza gang—turns up dead, Trent is accused of the murder and thrown in jail.

Reed drops everything to help find out who really committed the crime. He’s in unknown territory in Japan, forced to navigate Tokyo’s sex underworld to unravel the truth and save Trent. He poses as a “host” at a seedy late-night club. When Reed’s undercover activities place him at a ruthless Yakuza leader’s sex party, he must be willing to go to any lengths to secure Trent’s safety and freedom. But trusting the wrong people brings both Reed and Trent to the Yakuza leader’s attention. If they’re ever to have a happy ever after, they’ll first have to call on every skill just to stay alive.

See Reviews for Rarer Than Rubies (Book One) and Italian Ice (Book Two)

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Review

FourandHalfStars

This is my favourite book in the series. Japan is served up in exquisite, exotic detail. We learn much more about Trent’s life and get to see more of the people who are most important to him. Trent is confident with a whole set of previously unknown skills and contacts in the art world.

Reed enters this story after Trent is arrested. Undercover without Trent, Reed battles attraction to another man with honesty and a self-awareness not demonstrated until this book. Once again, Trent and Reed’s skills and personalities contrast and compliment brilliantly.

Jaded has another slightly chaotic plot. Once agin, I don’t think it’s possible for readers to solve the mystery alongside the characters as several important clues are provided only after the action has finished. Like Italian Ice, it is never very clear which characters can be trusted and which characters are plotting against Reed and Trent. I love the suspense this adds to the story and the complexity with which supporting characters are developed.

I feel that Lynley’s writing improves with each book. I love the way Trent and Reed’s characters continue to develop as their relationship matures.

Sarah

FourStars

Again, this author impressed me with every attention to detail. I am fully invested in this couple. The author pulled me in with her words and Trent and Reed are fully embedded in my heart. I NEEDED to know how they are doing and what suspense awaited in the pages. The author did not disappoint. It was a bumpy, sexy ride and I held on with both hands.. well, most of the time 🙂 Like I have mentioned in all my reviews, the details, they just blow me away!!! Can’t wait to read the next one, 24-Karat Conspiracy.

Kimberley

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5 Stars for Devil’s Food at Dusk (Just Desserts #3) by M.J. O’Shea and Anna Martin #MM #Romance @mjosheaseattle @missannamartin @Dreamspinners

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Title: Devil’s Food at Dusk (Just Desserts #3)
Author Name & Publisher: M.J. O’Shea and Anna Martin (Dreamspiners Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 22, 2015 – 200 pgs

Synopsis

Joe Fitzgerald hates New Orleans, but he’s stuck there until he convinces one stubborn local family to sell Lumière, the crumbling French Quarter restaurant they’ve owned for generations. The place is a wreck, and it’s hemorrhaging money. Joe figures he’s their best chance for survival.

Remy Babineaux despises Pineapple Joe’s and everything the chain stands for. He refuses to let Lumière become some tacky corporate tourist trap. Theme drinks and plastic beads in his restaurant? Yeah, right. Over his dead, rotting corpse. The last thing Remy wants is a meeting with the restaurant chain’s representative, but his father agreed to at least listen to the proposal. There’s nothing Remy can do about it.

Remy figures an anonymous hookup is exactly what he needs to decompress. When he ends up across the table from his fling the next morning, real sparks fly. Joe refuses to give up his prime location; Remy refuses to give up his legacy. It’s war, and they’re both determined to win at any cost. Neither of them counted on falling in love.

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Review

FiveStars

This book made me feel like I was actually present in New Orleans. Descriptions of the sights, smells, sounds and flavours of the city are recorded in exquisite, sensual detail. Add in a beautiful, brooding chef and this story is pure fantasy.

Remy is a fantastic main character. The authors introduce him against the backdrops of his family and his restaurant which in turn add colour and passion to an already attractive man. The Babineaux family is wonderful – I love the colour, the clashes and the easy inter-generational living. The restaurant – fresh and local, balancing innovation with a family tradition – is somewhere I would happily spend every night.

I really struggled to warm to Joe – but that was always the point of the story. His abrasive, cut-throat persona is gently softened over the course of the book as he spends more time with the Babineaux family, but I’m not sure I can ever forgive his behaviour.

This is the story of a family as much as it is a romance. I loved the interactions between members of the Babineaux clan as much as I loved the descriptions of food and the steamy sex scenes. What a fantastic book!

Sarah

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TWO 4 Star Reviews for Italian Ice (Precious Gems #2) by E.M. Lynley #MM #Suspense @Dreamspinners @emlynley

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Title: Italian Ice (Precious Gems #2)
Author Name & Publisher: E.M. Lynley (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 1, 2012 – 290 pgs

Synopsis

In this exciting sequel to Rarer Than Rubies, gay romance author Trent Copeland and former FBI agent Reed Action head to Italy for a Roman holiday. What should be a relaxing and romantic vacation is interrupted when Reed’s not-so-former boss asks for his help with a case. Trent’s shocked to discover in the six months they’ve been living together in LA, Reed hasn’t been completely honest about his “retirement.”

Reed heads for Sicily on the trail of a suspected antiquities-smuggling ring and to find Peter Isett—a former FBI partner he also hasn’t been completely truthful about. Stung by Reed’s dishonesty, Trent questions what else Reed might be hiding. But when he overhears something that tells him Reed’s life is in danger, Trent follows Reed to a remote chain of ancient volcanic islands off Sicily’s northern coast. Soon Trent is caught up in the smugglers’ web, and Reed must decide between his heart and his mission—a decision complicated by his past with Peter. Reed’s position is perilous: unless he can learn to put the past behind him, he risks destroying everything he’s built with Trent.

See Reviews for Rarer Than Rubies (Book One)

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Review

FourStars

Italy is beautiful, the food is magnificent and Reed and Trent are irresistible in the second Precious Gems book.

The men become true partners here, with Trent proving himself independent and very capable. Reese and and Trent are starting to work together and Reed is finally starting to value Trent’s skills.

Once again, the plot is pretty difficult to untangle as the story unfolds, but this time I understood everything by the time I finished the book. The villains are written more clearly as fully developed characters in this book and I enjoyed trying to work out which characters were friends and which were enemies in Lynley’s cast of shady secondary characters.

This was a well-crafted, exciting story featuring two wonderful lead characters that I’m growing quite attached to.

Sarah

FourStars

The writing was still impressive. The attention to details this author provides is incredible. You can tell by her writing that she knows what she is talking about and you are captivated by the story. Nothing is perfect and what I enjoyed about this story was that the author didn’t give them a sugar-coated relationship. Trent and Reed had real and valid difficulties in their relationship and that just endeared them to me even more.  It was a sometimes heart-breaking but enjoyable Journey with our two Hero’s! And very happy to have the next one in the series, Jaded!!

Kimberley

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5 and 4 Stars for Dallas in Wonderland by Evan Gilbert #MMM #Erotica @Dreamspinners

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TitleDallas in Wonderland
Author Name & Publisher: Evan Gilbert (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 20, 2015 – 89 pgs

Synopsis

Dallas Fox owns porn movie studio Wonderland and for him, sex is all about business. He hasn’t felt passion in a long time, so he is surprised when he develops an attraction for Johnny Roman, a college student who has recently become a porn actor for the studio, and Miguel Duarte, an office assistant. Dallas is even more surprised when he realizes they are as interested in him as they are in each other. Those attractions violate Dallas’s number one rule: no mixing business and pleasure.

Dallas slowly lets his guard down, and eventually winds up in bed with both Johnny and Miguel. Their painful backgrounds are similar, and they begin forging bonds that could grow into something much deeper. Miguel, however, faces a threat that could endanger them all and destroy any chance of finding the romance they want and need.

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Review

FiveStars

This was an interesting book for me. I just read a pretty heavy book emotionally and this one started out the same way, but it ended up taking me on a great journey of the coming together of three very different men who are at very different and difficult times in their lives.
I really liked the way that each of them was needed in the relationship to make it work for all of them and the resolution of Miguel’s little problem was actually a little funny. I liked the way it all worked back together, although I was still a bit sad about his roommate.
This was a very quick read for me that I found entertaining and quite sexy at time even though there was a lot going on with three men, three sets of lips and six hands all going in different directions at times.
Renee

FourStars

I really loved all three characters in this short story. From the start, Dallas was my favourite; I loved the steely power behind the twink facade. The author imbues the graphic detail in his porn scenes with a sense of humour and a touch of realism while the connection between his three leads is sweetly emotional.

Organised crime and family rejection are pretty hefty subjects for such a short story. In a full length novel, there would have been space to fully work through the problems the men faced. As it was, much of the plot felt rushed.

But never mind the plot. The sex is hot, the men are beautiful and the emotions feel real.

Sarah

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3 Stars for The Carpenter (Workplace Encounters #5) by Serena Yates #MM #Romance @Dreamspinners @SerenaYates

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Title: The Carpenter (Workplace Encounters #5)
Author Name & Publisher: Serena Yates
Publication Date & Length: June 17, 2015 – 120 pgs

Synopsis

Tom Halderson is a carpenter in desperate need of a big project to save the financially troubled construction company he inherited from his father. Tom is a better carpenter than a businessman, and worse yet, Tom’s estranged brother suddenly demands his share of the inheritance. When Matt Langford hires Tom to renovate his house, things begin to look up. A safari guide, Matt plans to restore and sell the home his grandfather left him and return to his exciting life in Africa. He is not about to let his sudden—and powerful—attraction to Tom persuade him to settle down—not after infidelity destroyed his own family. But adventurous Matt is exactly what Tom’s life is lacking, and Tom is determined to show Matt what could be between them.

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Review

ThreeStar

A struggling builder falls for his client. Add an evil scheming brother, a homophobic father and past domestic abuse and a simple plot becomes rather complicated.

I really liked Matt as a romantic lead, battling to help Tom. I find period home renovations fascinating and this offered up some great property porn. I didn’t really warm to Tom, though, and this is really his story. The combination of his abusive relationship and the way Derek treats him made Tom more victim than romantic lead for most of the story.

I also felt that the Derek storyline was a little overblown. He wants the company so he destroys it? It didn’t make much sense to me.

Beyond the drama, this is a simple romance. The men are hot and the sex is hot. Although the relationship feels rushed in parts, the connection between the two men is sweet.

Sarah

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